All the Write Moves

Why game developers need comic book writers

Jimmy Palmiotti, currently writing comics such as Countdown, Terra, Painkiller Jane, The Spirit and Shanna, has found his unique comic talents being directly transferable. “They usually hire you because you had something to do with the actual comic character they are basing the game on at one time or another. Garth Ennis and I have worked on a ton of Punisher and Ghost Rider books, and it was a natural match-up to work on the videogames. We bring the attitude and knowledge of the character to the game where most non-comic book writers, given the chance to handle a comic book character, can’t get their heads out of their asses - and just do it the way it’s presented to them.”

Warren Ellis is best known for creating comics such as Transmetropolitan, Doktor Sleepless and Crecy, but his mixture of the cerebral and visceral has found a perfect home in games such as Hostile Waters, Cold Winter and more. But he sees his role more straightforwardly. “The core concepts are always generated in-house, and I’m essentially brought in as a script doctor; a fresh pair of eyes. I’m there to make something a proper story, which is not something that traditional games creators, by their very job description, are trained in.”

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